Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena,
Capdevila; Iniesta (Cazorla 59'), Marcos Senna, Xavi (Fábregas 59'),
David Silva; David Villa, Fernando Torres (Güiza 84'). 4-4-2.
Italy: Buffon; Zambrotta, Panucci, Chiellini, Grosso; Aquilani (Del Piero 107'), De Rossi, Perrotta (Camoranesi 57'), Ambrosini; Cassano (Di Natale 74'), Luca Toni. 4-4-2.
Penalties: 1-0. Villa; 1-1. Grosso; 2-1. Cazorla; 2-1. De Rossi (saved Casillas)); 3-1. Senna; 3-2. Camoranesi; 3-2. Güiza (saved Buffon); 3-2. Di Natale (saved Casillas); 4-2. Fábregas.
Spain are through to the semi-finals of a major competition for the first time in 24 years after beating Italy in a penalty shoot out! Two saves from Iker Casillas and a last penalty from Cesc Fábregas took "la selección" through to meet Russia, who they already beat 4-1 in the earlier group stage.
Luis Aragonés reverted to his first choice line-up after resting them all against Greece. And they had the better chances early on, with Villa, Silva and Xavi all trying their luck with long shots, and Villa having a penalty appeal turned down by German referee Herbert Fandel. Marchena blocked a dangerous header from Toni in a rare Italian attack, but Silva shot just wide and was then unlucky not to be awarded even a free kick when brought down by Grosso on the edge of the area.
Casillas was finally called in to action to save from Camoranesi after the restart, and his opposite number Buffon was fortunate to see the ball roll against the foot of the post when he let a shot from Senna through his hands in the eightieth minute. Eventually though the game went in to extra time, with Silva and Toni going close at either end and Villa and Cazorla also trying their luck late on.
Still no goals though, and it was all down to spot kicks, with everything boiling down to a duel between arguably the best two goalkeepers in the world. Casillas saved De Rossi's second shot and Buffon responded keeping out Güiza. But Casillas saved again from Di Natale, and when Fábregas slotted home his kick it was all over.
Spain had beaten Italy in an official tournament for the first time in 88 years, and the penalty jinx which has dogged them for so many years was finally broken. Now only Russia stand between them and Sunday's final, although it will not be as easy as in the opening game. Guus Hiddinck's side have recovered after losing that match, knocking out favourites Holland in their quarter final. "La Roja" have not won anything yet, and Aragonés is the first to remind everyone of that fact.